I am currently sitting at a cafe in Oxford, England–a coincidental place to be learning about the history of the internet and programming languages since it’s the academic home of Tim Berners-Lee.
I’m a big history person, I learn by seeing the whole picture. The timeline pages were particularly helpful to me. I once interviewed a developer at this company called Mobelux, and he explained the basis of the programming to me. The punch cards, plusses and minuses–the positive and negative charges and how they relate to 1s and 0s, and how these very tangible things eventually became digital. He explained the hierarchy of programming languages in layman’s terms for me: the base of C and onward. These readings (and watchings) helped me string all of those ideas together in a more comprehensive way, and overall that is the main thing I learned.
The concept of computational thinking is new to me. But, in a way, it’s like saying that the concept of gravity was new to me in the second grade when I first learned about it. I particularly look forward to pondering it more so that the how’s of it become more settled in my head. Right now, it reminds of a wind-up toy that’s been given a task and we have to figure out what the task is and how much to wind up the toy so it can complete the task. I also enjoyed your blog post on the evolution of the how’s of thinking as opposed to the what’s. It is an infinite and ever-evolving thing. (It made me wonder if there’s any sort of predictable pattern that could be identified in history? Then I read your second post. I appreciated the everyday examples by Kim Pearson. I am NOT a math person, but I greatly appreciate math in this way. The labeling and identification of patterns. I enjoy discussing it, but I’m hopeless at identifying them myself!)
My main goals for this class?
- Learn how to do this so that I can be one of the more marketable content-producing Millennials.
- Be able to hold a work-related conversation with my brother-in-law (a coder) and know what’s going on.
- Be able to watch an episode of Silicon Valley and be able to understand more than the general stereotypes as described to me by my aforementioned California-based brother-in-law.
- Go back to my old Neopets account and blow my ancient HTML out of the water.
I like thinking about stuff in the abstract. Specifics are sometimes beyond. I hope that this class doesn’t make me pull out too much of my hair. Regardless, I look forward to next week.
My GitHub. (Hopefully by the time you view this my profile pic will have updated.)